Fri 27 Oct 2023, 18:53 · Ash Harrison

Update: 23-year-old Newcastle midfielder will now not be in the squad to face Wolves tomorrow

Update: 23-year-old Newcastle midfielder will now not be in the squad to face Wolves tomorrow
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Eddie Howe told reporters this morning that as far as he was aware Sandro Tonali was available to face Wolverhampton Wanderers tomorrow.

We said in our lineup prediction that Eddie Howe would likely not risk planning to have Sandro Tonali in the starting XI tomorrow just in case FIFA ratified his worldwide ban before the game.

This evening, Sky Sports reported that FIFA approved the ban meaning Tonali's ban will start with immediate effect.

Newcastle will now be without Tonali for the rest of the season

As things stood this morning, Newcastle United had not been formally told of Sandro Tonali's 10-month ban for gambling offences in Italy.

While the breaches stemmed from his time at Brescia and AC Milan, it's Newcastle United who are being punished. Well, Tonali is being punished, but as a knock-on effect so are Newcastle.

After signing from AC Milan for £55 million in the summer, Newcastle now cannot field their big-money signing for the rest of the season after FIFA ratified the ban.

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Sandro Tonali will now be unavailable for the rest of the season

Newcastle could look to the loan market in January to replace Sandro

The 23-year-old can still train with the club, and he can play in friendlies which means Eddie Howe can get him up to match fitness before the start of next season when Tonali will once again be available for selection.

It could have been much worse for Tonali and Newcastle as he was facing a ban of up to three years. Having Tonali absent for the rest of the season is really no different to if he'd picked up a bad injury ... except when he returns there'll be no worries about his fitness.

While it's not ideal to lose a player for such a long period at any time, it's a double blow when Newcastle are really struggling with so many injuries, but it is what it is.

There's a strong belief that Newcastle will delve into the loan market to replace Tonali for the second half of the season with Al-Hilal's Ruben Neves and Manchester City's Kalvin Phillips high on the wishlist.